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Archive for August, 2017

More Benefits to Syrup Than Just Amazing Taste: Crown Maple Sets a New Industry Standard

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Enter Our Giveaway for Free Products!

(Photos courtesy of Crown Maple)

Crown Maple Estate

Crown Maple Estate

Naturally vegan, GMO-free, and gluten-free, maple syrup and maple sugar are two of nature’s healthiest sweeteners. Since Robb and Lydia Turner launched Crown Maple in 2010, the business has quickly become one of the most beloved brands of maple syrup on the market. Last year, Crown Maple was the fourth largest maple producer in the USA, with more than 5,000 acres of maple farms in New York and Vermont.

Attendees on our 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise were very excited to eat dishes made with this wonderful syrup, and take home samples of Crown Maple’s products. A huge thank-you to Crown Maple for being one of our 2017 sponsors! We wanted to dig a little deeper into the story behind the flavor and take a look at why the harvesting methods are sustainable and protect the environment. We also wanted to share a special August giveaway for Crown Maple products so you can taste the difference for yourself!

Sustainable Harvesting

The Crown Maple Estate (also known as Madava Farms) is an 800-acre organic family farm in New York’s Hudson Valley where all production and and bottling takes place. Visitors can take a tour of the Estate and go behind the scenes in the sugarhouse. Mike Cobb, CEO of Maple Crown, says that the farm typically produces .4–.5 gallons of syrup per tap (which translates to 60,000 gallons per year). Wow, that’s a lot!

With more than 120,000 taps in 2017, the process of harvesting maple is very environmentally conscious and workers use state-of-the-art technology. “We tap the trees with care toward sustainability—proper location and proper number of taps based on tree size,” says Mike. “We take less than 10% of a tree’s sap.”

Health Benefits of Maple

Not only are maple syrup and maple sugar flavorful, but they are great for your health. Mike shares that Crown Maple fits naturally into today’s lifestyle:

  • Healthy sweetener with antioxidant benefits & lower glycemic index than most popular sweeteners
  • All natural, sustainable, 100% pure from nature
  • Certified organic, kosher, vegan, paleo
  • Gluten-free, gmo free, has no preservatives, clean
  • Enriches and enhances savory flavors
  • Deepens sweetness and caramelization
  • Versatility of use for topping, baking, saucing, basting, finishing, mixology

In addition to many specialty items, Crown Maple also produces infused maple syrup (such as the Madagascar Vanilla and Cinnamon). The Bourbon Barrel Aged adds flavor to beverages—and fruit, ice cream, and pies!

Recently, the grading system for maple syrup changed (you won’t find Grade B on the shelves anymore). All maple syrup at Crown Maple is Grade A and the four varieties of grades are:

  1. Golden Color Delicate Taste
  2. Amber Color Rich Taste
  3. Dark Color Robust Taste
  4. Very Dark Color Strong Taste.

The Amber Color Rich Taste presents a medium-body feel with aromas and flavors of gingerbread, roasted chestnut, toffee. The Very Dark Color Strong Taste, on the other hand, presents deeply caramelized flavors and aromas of molasses, crème brûlée, espresso, and cocoa beans.

Recipe for Vegan Maple-Roasted Brussels, Shallots, and Farro Salad

Maple-Roasted Brussels, Shallots, and Farro Salad

Maple-Roasted Brussels, Shallots & Farro Salad

We want to share this recipe from Robb Turner’s book The Crown Maple Guide to Maple Syrup.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 to 35 Minutes

Serves 4

1 cup (200 g) dried farro
Kosher salt to taste
1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup (75 ml) olive oil
2 pounds (910 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 to 5 medium shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons Crown Maple syrup (Amber Color, Rich Taste), or more to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup (13 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C); line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Put the farro in a small saucepan and cover with 3 cups (720 ml) water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook the farro for 25 minutes, or until the grains are tender but still have a little chew to them. Drain in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. While the farro cooks, roast the vegetables: Spread the Brussels sprouts and shallots on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the maple syrup, the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) oil, and the vinegar over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss the vegetables right on the sheet.
  4. Roast the vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until the shallots have softened and the Brussels sprouts are crisped around the edges.
  5. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the farro, and add the parsley. Toss to combine, and add more maple syrup, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Enter Our Sweepstakes & Taste for Yourself!

Royal Treatment Dark Bottle

From August 21–28, we are holding a special giveaway on the HHAS Facebook page, thanks to Crown Maple!

Triple Pack

Two lucky winners will each receive Crown Maple’s Royal Treatment Box (dark color), pictured on left.

One grand prize winner will receive the Deluxe Crown Maple Trio (one Dark Color and Robust Taste; one Very Dark Color and Strong Taste, and one Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple), pictured on right. “Like” the post and tag a friend in the comments for your chance to win!

Recovery Panelists Tell Their Stories: You Won’t Believe Their Results, Part II

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This post is the final installment of a two-part series in which we spotlight several participants from the Recovery Panel on the 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise, which sailed March 11–18, 2017.

Holistic Holiday at SeaAs you read in our July post, one of the most well attended sessions on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise is the Recovery Panel. Members of the audience watch in amazement and relief as a dozen people share how they overcame a serious illness using holistic and alternative therapies. By the end, there are tears, smiles, and follow-up questions.

We want to share with you three amazing stories from participants Jane Quincannon Stanchich, Tricia Slimbarski, and Kim Hoffman.


We look forward to the next Recovery Panel on our special 15th anniversary 10-day voyage, February 15–25, 2018 in the southeastern Caribbean.

Plant-Based and Pain-Free

Jane StanchichThis year’s panel was facilitated by Jane Quincannon Stanchich, a macrobiotic teacher, counselor, and chef for more than 35 years. This was her 14th time attending the cruise. She opened with, “Welcome to what I think is one of the most important and inspiring sessions on the whole cruise and any event. Truly. I love this. Very courageous people who are sharing their stories with you—stories of healing. They’ll be telling you about their condition, what they decided to do, and their triumphant results.”

Jane’s personal healing story dates back 35 years ago. At the time, she was in tremendous pain and suffering with osteoarthritis. “I was determined to find out what was causing the pain. And I was determined to do whatever it took to reverse it,” she says. At the time, she was following a vegetarian diet, but was still eating eggs and dairy. A holistic doctor assured her that she could restore her bones without operations.

“It was only when I began a vegan diet (that) … my monthly cycle became easy and pain free; my hip pain, knee pain, and foot pain went away because I was giving myself the nutrients I needed and I was eliminating the foods that were trigger foods, that were causing the inflammation and degeneration.”

In closing, Jane said “I feel better and actually younger every day. And I’m tremendously grateful because I get to meet people like you and I get to share my story with many.”

Fighting for My Life

Tricia Slimbarski

Tricia Slimbarski decided to go to the doctor because she wasn’t feeling well. The diagnosis was type II diabetes. Four months later, she returned to the doctor for testing and complained about pain in her jaw and left arm. He referred her to a cardiologist for testing and she was diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease and had a quintuple bypass surgery in February 2008. “Upon discharge from the hospital I was told to eat a Mediterranean diet, which includes fish, olive oil and dairy,” says Tricia. She was still having angina every day. When all was said and done, she was on 13 pills and two shots per day.

In February 2014, Tricia was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic due to severe angina. They placed seven stents into her coronary arteries. One week later, another stent was added. Upon discharge, the doctor told her that she had so much damage that she would be back in the hospital within six months.

When she returned home, Tricia was scared and depressed. She decided to go on the internet and do some research on reversing her condition. She discovered Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and purchased his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. “When I got it, I became vegan ‘now!’” She shares, “Mind you, I had angina every single day for 10 years. After I started this lifestyle, no oil, the agina stopped within two weeks and I haven’t had it yet, and that was three years ago.”

As for tips? Tricia, who says she was fighting for her life, advises others, “Take charge of your life and take control of your own health.” Today, Tricia has a plant-based nutrition course and teaches cooking.

Do You Really Believe This?

Kim Hoffman, of Cleveland, Ohio, thought she was bulletproof until she wound up in the hospital for eight days at the age of 30. Doctors told her that she had multiple sclerosis and that she’s had it for the past decade. Against doctor’s orders, she checked herself out of the hospital and hit the internet.

“My neurologist thought I was crazy and the Cleveland Clinic did not support me because I didn’t want to be on medication,” she says. She discovered Dr. John McDougall and his dietary approach to MS. She signed up for his 10-Day Live-in Program in Santa Rosa, California. She wanted to look him in the eye and ask him, “Do you really believe this?” They talked, and she eventually believed he knew what he was talking about.

She says, “Once I was properly educated, I stopped all medications. I have been on a whole foods, plant-based, oil free diet, and in full remission for six years.”

This was Kim’s first Holistic Holiday at Sea experience. For someone in similar shoes who is seeking recovery, she tells them, “Hit the internet, books, lectures, anything you can get your hands on and educate yourself on your condition. If you can learn how the disease works, you can find ways to combat it. Do not blindly follow doctors and just become another patient number in the system. Educate yourself, then trust your gut instincts.”

Join Us in 2018!

Haven’t seen the Recovery Panel firsthand yet? We’d love to have you onboard. Reserve your spot on the 2018 Holistic Holiday at Sea experience and get ready to be inspired! There are so many new ports of call, exciting lectures by world-renowned leaders in the plant-based movement, and unique excursions to help you on your journey to wholeness. You won’t want to miss it.

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